Do cats need company?

Posted by Maggie the Moggie. November 7th 2014.

Any cat owners will be well aware that cats can be difficult animals to read. Unlike dogs, which tend to have their heart pinned to their coats at all times, cats can be mysterious and fickle when it comes to displaying their emotions.

KittensOne effect of this is that owners can sometimes be confused as to whether or not cats need company. While cats can show affection for owners and other animals on occasion, they will more often project a preference for being alone.

Here, we take a closer look at what cats need when it comes to company.

One cat is enough

While it’s usually dogs that are thought of as being the more territorial animal, cats often struggle to share domestic space with other creatures. Despite this, some 46% of cat owners own more than one cat but if you’re thinking of expanding your family in this way then you might want to think again.

For one reason or another, living in the company of other cats can have a dramatic and negative impact on the stress levels experienced by your cat. This might manifest itself in the spraying of urine within the home or even in feline cystitis which causes blood to appear in the urine of your pet. Another sign of stress in cats is over-grooming, sometimes to the extent of causing fur loss, especially on the belly between the back legs.

More often than not, one cat is simply enough for any home.

Be attentive

Cats usually prefer to be on their own but it is sometimes possible for them to live in harmony with one another. Cats have the best chance of getting along with other animals in the event that they have grown up together. Sibling cats of the same litter are generally more likely to live together harmoniously than animals which have been introduced to one another at a later stage.

There are some things which owners can do to lower the stress experienced by cats which are living together. Typically this will involve providing each of the animals with their own facilities. Litter trays, feeding bowls and scratching posts are best kept separate if possible, reducing the extent to which spaces need to be communal. In a multiple cat household, there should be total of one litter tray per cat, plus one extra.

Human company

It’s not only the company of other cats which can have an impact on cats, but humans too. Just like most other animals, the extent to which a cat enjoys being around humans can vary from one animal to another.

In all cases, it’s important to see that there is somebody around to care for your pet. While cats are usually happy to be left alone for longer periods of time than dogs – for instance if you are out at work during the day – for any longer period than this it’s vital to have somebody come in to keep an eye on them and provide them with food and water.

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